.- Yesterday, the Vatican released the text of a speech given recently by Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on the theme, “Builders of Democracy.” The cardinal’s talk was delivered in the Angolan capital of Luanda on March 5 at the end of the Second 'Pro Pace' Congress.
The congress, which was organized by the Church in Angola and took place at Luanda's Catholic University, concluded with a Eucharistic concelebration, presided over by the cardinal.
In his speech, Cardinal Martino made reference to long-established democracies and to those just emerging from "aggressive systems, tribal domination, and colonial rule."
He noted that the latter must be careful not to fall prey to the type of "moral and institutional crisis that historical democracies are going through," including "absolute individualism, materialism, hedonism, ethical indifference and the prevalence of acquisitive and competitive economic logic."
He also observed that, "ethical relativism is one of the greatest risks for current democracies" because it denies "objective and universal criteria for establishing the basis for and correct hierarchy of values."
The council president likewise affirmed the indispensable relationship between moral values and political life in building true democracy.